Privacy Engineering sector fails to protect their intellectual property

Editor: Rosemarie Stahl

According to MTA, British Engineering and manufacturing companies are losing money because they are not aware of the value that is integral in their designs, processes and optimisation strategies.

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MTA warns that in order not to lose money, manufacturers need to be aware of intellectual property rights.
MTA warns that in order not to lose money, manufacturers need to be aware of intellectual property rights.
(Source: CC0 Public Domain)

UK – Engineering and manufacturing companies are being urged exploit the untapped value in their intellectual property to avoid losing money on lost designs, systems and patents, and create new revenues, says the Manufacturing Technologies Association (MTA).

Each year millions of pounds in IPR – intellectual property rights – are being neglected by the UK’s engineering sector, because companies do not understand these rights and the IP wrapped up in their designs and processes, the leading manufacturing technology business group says.

British engineering companies including technology companies and sub-contractors, and UK subsidiaries of foreign-owned companies, are less knowledgeable about the value within their IP such as patents, design rights and trade marks, compared with companies in the technology service sector, such as gaming and entertainment, the study shows.

As well as losing IP to competitors from not registering their marks and rights, manufacturers are losing out on new revenue streams from both licensing out their IP to third parties, and from licensing IP from other parties as an agent, to allow them to use IP owned by others.

UK investment in intangible assets protected by IPRs has risen from £47 billion in 2000 to £70 billion in 2014, according to the Intellectual Property Office (IPO). This is partly due to the growth of services like software programming and the knowledge economy, but manufacturing companies are missing out and could boost this number far more, says MTA CEO James Selka. “Manufacturing is a creative industry on par with the software and gaming industries – consider the drawings, machine optimisation, tooling, dies and moulds being constantly created. Companies must be more aware of the value that is integral in these creations, because it represents millions of pounds – and they own it.”

The findings come from an extensive survey of MTA members and manufacturers from all fields of manufacturing technology, conducted in 2016 by the MTA, Arvada Marketing and Mathys & Squire LLP. The survey was commissioned to align with the launch of the government’s five-year Intellectual Property Strategy, to recognise the global growth in IPR and educate UK plc intellectual property. “There is a major push in the UK to capture value from IP, the government is behind this and manufacturers should be too,” said Sean Leach, from Mathys & Squire.